New resource officers assigned to school district
Two new officers from the Paso Robles Police Department will be taking new positions serving the school district
– Paso Robles Police Officers Alex Ellis and Walter Canizalez are taking over as school resource officers after recent school resource officers Tony Ruiz and Dustin Virgil. Ruiz was promoted to sergeant within the department and Virgil has chosen to continue his public safety career with the Paso Robles Fire Department.
Officer Alex Ellis is from the city of Paso Robles. She attended Cuesta College and Cal Poly and joined Paso Robles Police Department four years ago.
Officer Walter Canizalez has been an officer with Paso Robles Police Department for two years. He was a firefighter for the forest service for 12 years and enjoys his new position as a school resource officer because he loves to serve his community by serving the youth,
“When I was young, I grew up in Southern California and there were a lot of police and fire agency programs such as The D.A.R.E. Program, the Explorers Program that played a big part in my life coming up and guided me to where I am now in public service which I love and enjoy and I want to share my experiences with youth and help in any way I can,” says Canizalez. “I’m big in the Paso Robles Police Department’s activities league and I see the value in athletics in our youth because it helps out a ton just to burn off energy, but then it teaches great skills like team building, discipline, and all of the above so we want to be incorporate that and be involved in the community in those fashions.”
“As far as developing children in the community at all ages, we really want to do a lot of outreach in the schools for things like drugs, vaping, drunk driving, similar to the D.A.R.E program but curtailed more to things that are currently going on in communities,” he continued. “My goal is to make sure that we are having presentations and doing the outreach and having the kids participate in activities that we have going on as a department such as Junior Giants for example so we can integrate the kids that we see in schools that want to be a part of something like that and see if something like that would benefit them and it would be my job to try to put them on the right track to be a part those activities.”
Officer Ellis is his counterpart and a new school resource officer. “As resource officers, we work as a team to make sure that we have overlapping coverage throughout the school year for whatever the needs are of the high school. We have a high concentration of kids at the high school so we spend a lot of time there, but the idea of having two resource officers is that we can divide up and have more outreach and talk to more youth, yes we are law enforcement officers, we are there to be assistance to the kids should they need our assistance if the school administration is unable to fulfill the needs of the students then we want to step in and help wherever we are needed, We also want to focus on the other schools in the district because everyone needs our attention. We don’t want to take away from the middle schools and elementary schools because they also have needs and our goal with the lower schools is to mitigate issues that could possibly come up in the later years. The more people we can help early on is what we want to do and we want a balanced approach to everybody is what we are looking for as resource officers.”
Ellis and Canizalez will be taking over for officers Ruiz and Virgil
Officer Tony Ruiz is a former school resource officers. Ruiz was promoted to sergeant with the Paso Robles Police Department. He has been with the department for the last 21 years and looks to continue his career as a sergeant.
Officer Virgil was the other school resource officer. Virgil has decided to change careers and continue his public safety career with the Paso Robles Fire Department. Officer Virgil has been with the police department for three years.
-By Anthony Reed